Google Fails with Solution for Health Record Innovation

26Sep11

Deuze states that “With the arrival of ‘new media’ the old business model is being undermined. Nearly all sectors of the media have developed a range of responses to threats and opportunities offered by those new developments.”(Deuze, MMW, 23)

Deuze also mentions the diffusion theory in which a predictable pattern that moves from the “change agent,” who introduces the innovation, to the “laggards” who refuse to accept it (Rogers, 1995) Demographic factors such as age, education, and income have been found to be at least somewhat related to consumers’ willingness to adopt innovations. Diffusion theory helps explain…failure.”

Google is an ideal example of a big company whose business model is one of developing smaller products in hopes of adoption. But what happens when a company like Google is faced with the challenge of innovating a solution to the new and sensitive problem space of online health records?

A failed attempt by Google to digitize your personal health records demonstrated Google’s inability to adapt to the innovation of online health record databases.

Mashable’s recent article on Google Health, the failed service launched by Google, is shutting down after an inability to scale. Mashable explains that Google decided to stop these initiatives because these services were not able to attract enough consumers. In other words, enough people didn’t catch on enough for these products to be monetarily valuable enough for Google to keep it going.

Perhaps online health records are too much of a violation of personal privacy to be adopted. Perhaps Google has not yet completely or has improperly diffused their business model and organizational culture to match the online health record revolution.

Or, perhaps even the most innovative companies will never succeed with privacy-sensitive problems.

http://mashable.com/2009/10/05/social-media-healthcare/

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/technology/25health.html

– Dan Schiffman

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